Belo Horizonte, Brazil — (METERING.COM) — March 16, 2011 – Brazilian utility Cemig has secured a grant of $710,000 from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to fund a feasibility study for the implementation of a smart grid by the Belo Horizonte based company and its sister utility Light in Rio de Janeiro.
The agreement was signed by Cemig’s chairman Djalma Bastos de Morais and the USTDA’s manager for Brazil, Peru and the Southern Cone Gabrielle Mandel, at the company’s headquarters.
“The USTDA’s investment is an important increment for the development of intelligent network technology in Brazil,” commented Djalma Morais, adding that it also strengthens the relationship between Cemig and the American government.
The funding will be used to develop a strategy for the smart grid program, which includes the Cities of the Future project, which was launched last year in the city of Sete Lagoas, some 70 km from Belo Horizonte. The investment will also enable the exchange of information and technology between U.S. companies and Cemig.
Late last year Cemig and Light announced they would spend more than $38 million on a three-year smart grid research and development program, with pilot projects in Sete Lagoas involving 2,000 customers and Rio de Janeiro involving 1,000 customers initially.